The cocaine analogue 2-beta-carbomethoxy-3-beta-(4-iodophenyl)-tropane (beta-CIT) is a potent ligand for both dopamine- and serotonin uptake sites which in its 123I labeled form can be used for single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT). It was demonstrated previously by SPECT-studies in non-human primates that 123I-beta-CIT binds to dopamine transporters in the striatum and to serotonin transporters in hypothalamus and midbrain. The aim of the present study was to compare 123I-beta-CIT binding in the brain stem of normal controls and a group of subjects under treatment with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) citalopram. 123I-beta-CIT-SPECT was performed in 12 depressed patients under 20 mg (n = 5), 40 mg (n = 6) and 60 mg (n = 1) citalopram daily, in one untreated depressed patient and in 11 controls at regular time intervals up till 24 hours p.inj. A highly significant reduction of beta-CIT binding was found in an area including mesial thalamus, hypothalamus, midbrain and pons in patients under citalopram compared to controls (44.1 +/- 14.4 vs. 82.3 +/- 18.6cpm's/mCi x kg body weight; specific binding 4 hrs p.inj.; p = 0.0001). No differences were seen between the high and low dose group and no changes were found in the striatum. 123I-beta-CIT binding in the brain stem and striatum in one untreated depressed patient fell within the range of control values. To our knowledge this is the first report directly demonstrating the effect of a selective serotonin uptake inhibitor in the brain in humans in vivo. SPECT measurements of serotonin uptake sites in patients with depression and other psychiatric disorders might provide better insights into the pathophysiology of these disorders and into mechanisms of drug action.
"Nevertheless, in vivo and in vitro receptor ligand occupancy studies strongly suggested that due to the different binding kinetics of [ 123 I]b-CIT to serotonin transporter rich brain areas and the striatum, the delayed state of binding equilibrium allows for almost exclusive quantification of striatal dopamine transporter binding. However, mild signal alterations potentially arising from serotonin transporter binding in the putamen cannot be entirely excluded (Staley et al., 1994; Pirker et al., 1995). It remains to be shown if the distribution of reduced striatal serotonin transporter availability follows that of dopamine transporter in right-handed patients with Parkinson's disease. "
"This would be consistent with the hypothesis that SSRI's increase striatal dopaminergic activity. A number of studies suggest that SSRI's are able to increase striatal DAT binding (Kugaya et al. 2003; De Win et al. 2005), although not all findings are consistent (Kim et al. 2007; Pirker et al. 1995). The nature of interaction of SSRI's and the dopaminergic system in the striatum is poorly understood and complex interactions appear to exist between the serotonergic and dopaminergic systems (Kapur and Remington 1996; Bonhomme and Esposito 1998). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterised by fear of social or performance situations where the individual is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others. The literature on dopamine ligands and dopamine genotypes in SAD is however inconsistent. In this study we measured the effects of SSRI pharmacotherapy on dopamine transporter (DAT) binding in patients with SAD, also addressing variability in DAT genotype. Adult subjects meeting DSM-IV criteria for generalised SAD were studied before and after 12 weeks of pharmacotherapy with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) escitalopram. DAT single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) using (123)I-FP-CIT was performed at baseline, and repeated at 12 weeks. Striatal DAT binding was analysed for changes following therapy, and for correlations with clinical efficacy, in the whole group as well as for a subgroup with the A10/A10 DAT genotype. The study included 14 subjects (9 male, 5 female) with a mean (SD) age of 41 (±13) years. The subjects' Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) score was significantly decreased following pharmacotherapy. In the combined group the left caudate and left putamen showed clusters of increased DAT binding after therapy. The left caudate changes were also observed in the subgroup of 9 A10/A10 homozygotes. However no correlation was found between improved symptoms and DAT binding. The changes found in DAT binding in the caudate and putamen may be due to serotonergic activation of dopamine function by SSRI therapy. This is consistent with previous work indicating decreased DAT binding in SAD, and increased DAT binding after SSRI administration.
"Midbrain binding of [ 123 I]β-CIT is predominantly to 5-HTTs (Laruelle et al., 1993; Pirker et al., 1995). To our knowledge, the first investigation of this kind was a pivotal study by Heinz et al. (2000b) in abstinent patients with alcohol dependence and healthy subjects. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Imaging genetics is a research field that describes the impact of genetic risk variants on brain structure and function. While magnetic resonance based imaging techniques are able to provide complex information on a system level, positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computer tomography (SPECT) allow for determination of distribution and density of single receptor molecules in the human brain. Major psychiatric disorders are highly heritable, and have been associated with a dysregulation in brain dopamine and serotonin systems. Understanding the role of genetic polymorphisms within these neurotransmitter systems on brain phenotype is essential. This review tries to cover the literature on the impact of gene variants implicated in psychiatric disorders on serotonin, dopamine, and MAO-A radioligand binding in living humans. The majority of PET and SPECT studies investigated the role of polymorphisms within genes coding for the serotonin and dopamine transporters, the serotonin 1A receptor, and the dopamine D2 receptor on G protein coupled receptors or transporter proteins critically involved in serotonin or dopamine neurotransmission. Other studies investigated the impact of variants in genes for monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A) or brain derived neurotrophic factor on monoamine transporters, receptors, or MAO-A activity. Two main findings in healthy subjects emerge from the current literature: one is an increased binding of the selective ligand [(11)C]DASB to serotonin transporters in subjects homozygous for the triallelic 5-HTTLPR LA allele. The other one is decreased binding of the radioligand [(11)C]raclopride to dopamine D2 receptors in D2 Taq1 A1 allele carriers. Other findings reported are highly interesting but require independent replication.
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